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US regulatory panel names climate change 'major risk' as companies take action

The ESG Insider newsletter compiles news and insights on environmental, social and governance developments driving change in business and investment decisions. Subscribe to our ESG Insider newsletter, and listen to the latest ESG Insider podcast on SoundCloud, Spotify and iTunes.

A new report commissioned by the U.S. derivatives market regulator cautions that climate change poses a significant risk to the nation's financial system and the broader economy.

Whether it is sprawling wildfires in California or worsening floods in Iowa, Wall Street should expect broad impacts from extreme weather events worldwide, according to the report commissioned by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee. Representatives of major financial institutions including Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co. and energy and agribusiness giants such as BP PLC and Bunge Ltd. voted unanimously in support of the report's recommendations, which included setting a price on carbon dioxide emissions.

"Climate change is already impacting or is anticipated to impact nearly every facet of the economy, including infrastructure, agriculture, residential and commercial property, as well as human health and labor productivity," the CFTC subcommittee concluded in the report. "U.S. financial regulators must recognize that climate change poses serious emerging risks to the U.S. financial system."

See our Chart of the Week for a map detailing how extreme weather events caused power outages across the western United States in early September as another unprecedented heatwave scorched California, hurricane-strength winds scoured the Mountain West and catastrophic wildfires raged up and down the West Coast.

Chart of the Week

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Top Stories  

CFTC panel calls climate change 'major risk' to US financial system

A report commissioned by the nation's top U.S. derivatives regulator calls climate change a "major risk" to the stability of the country's financial system and the broader economy. The report marks the first assessment of its kind that has been backed by a U.S. government agency, according to the CFTC commissioner who sponsored the subcommittee behind the report.

US West confronts new era of climate-driven disasters, grid instability

U.S. blackout hours in 2020 neared the 1 trillion mark through Sept. 11, more than all of 2019, according to PowerOutage.US. State officials, utility executives, energy experts and scientists warned that accelerating climate change poses a growing threat to the reliability of the aging patchwork power grid that serves more than 75 million residents from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific.

IEA says power sector can achieve only one-third of global net-zero target

Power generators are a major source of air pollution causing climate change, but getting to global net-zero emissions by 2050 will require decarbonization from beyond the electricity sector.

Environmental 

Global oil demand may have peaked after pandemic-induced demand destruction – BP

Google says it will run on carbon-free energy by 2030

Investors managing $47 trillion urge companies to set net-zero emissions plans

Social  

Exodus of Rio Tinto executives exemplifies rising social risk for mining sector

Racial justice, climate-related disasters cited as top concerns by utility execs

#100BlackInterns to address 'shockingly low' representation in PE, IM

Governance 

New Zealand to require climate risk reporting for financial institutions

Wall Street regulator poised to finalize proxy reforms

US coal companies now squeezed by pandemic spent billions on shareholder returns

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